Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

DOJ reopens Emmett Till case after ‘new information’ arises

Till a 14-year-old black Chicago boy who was kidnapped tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi DOJ reopens Emmett Till case after ‘new information’ arises
Lora Ball | 13 July, 2018, 10:09

His body was later found in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton gin. You know, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has never really closed this case, and there's a 500-page report of the FBI's findings from 1955 certainly on - into the 1990s. In an interview, Jones said the Till killing or any other case likely wouldn't be covered by this legislation if authorities were actively investigating.

Emmett's mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, was horrified to see the state of her son's body when it was returned to her. How did Emmett Till's murder helped galvanize the civil rights movement? Roy Bryant, Donham's husband at the time, and his half-brother J. W. Milam were acquitted of the murder, but later admitted to it inan interview with Look Magazine.

An Associated Press report Thursday revealed that the Justice Department had reopened the case, and notified Congress in a March report that it was reinvestigating Till's brutal murder after receiving what the department called "new information".

The prosecutor with jurisdiction over the MS community where Till was abducted, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson, declined to comment on whether federal authorities had given him new information since they reopened the investigation.

"Several interested parties" asked the Justice Department in 2004 whether any surviving suspects could be prosecuted, but after reviewing the information available, the department determined that the statute of limitations prevented any federal prosecution, according to the report.

Donham, who turns 84 this month, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The AP report said a cousin of Till's, Deborah Watts, was not aware that the murder case was reopened.

During the trial of Roy Bryant and Milam, Carolyn Bryant was brought as a potential witness for the defense. The two men have since died.

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"He said, 'How about a date, baby?'" she testified, according to a trial transcript released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a decade ago.

The Duke University scholar says he shared materials including recordings of 2008 interviews with a white woman, Carolyn Donham, acknowledging that she wasn't truthful when she testified that Till made sexual advances at a MS store in 1955.

CHANG: Now, many people including Emmett Till's family hoped that your book would lead to reopening the investigation into his murder because you had the chance to speak with Carolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman who had accused Till of harassing her.

A judge ruled the testimony inadmissible.

With jurors out of the courtroom, she said a "nigger man" she didn't know took her by the arm.

Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker, said Thursday he's "pretty sure" an investigator asked him about what happened in a MS store the day Till whistled at a white woman before his slaying in 1955. Nobody - to me, the fact that Carolyn Bryant lied in court is not the morning news. The report added that "b$3 ecause the matter is ongoing, the Department can provide no further information about the current investigation".

In this September 23, 1955, file photo, J.W. Milam, left, his wife, second left, Roy Bryant, far right, and his wife, Carolyn Bryant, sit together in a courtroom in Sumner, Miss.

Both men later confessed in a magazine interview but have since died.

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